Monday 7 November 2011

Hipbone Slim & The Kneetremblers - Square Guitar

Album review by KevW

This article also appears on

Led by the prolific Sir Bald Diddley, Hipbone Slim & The Kneetremblers have become something of a cult sensation thanks to four albums of accomplished rock 'n' roll fundamentalism and regular appearances on Mark Lamarr's radio show. Harsh critics may single out the unwillingness to deviate from the primitive rhythm and blues blueprint as their downfall, but this would be a failure to understand the objective of the group. A rehash it may be, but it's a rehash by design and one that's carried out with conviction.'Square Guitar' isn't trying to be a challenge, it's trying to be faithful to its heroes and it's trying to be fun, and on both these levels it succeeds.

'Bald Tyre' is an instrumental of exemplary rolling drums and trebley guitar twangs, showing a clear familiarity and understanding of the source material. The production couldn't be more precise in replicating an authentic sound and the levels are faultless. Bonus points should be awarded for the correct use of a saxophone on tracks such as 'Birdman' and 'King Of The Rocket Men'. We get two Bo Diddley pastiches in the shape of  'Why Ain't Bo On My TV?' and 'Square Guitar' and the fingerprints of other Gods of the genre are all over the album. The lyrical themes are also faithful to these originators.

Of course all this makes 'Square Guitar' a record that's crammed with sounds you've heard dozens of times before, but regardless of this it's still a rock 'n' roll riot for those seeking an undemanding listen and an album that doesn't take itself too seriously. If you're looking to unleash your inner teddy boy then you're looking in the right place.

Hipbone Slim & The Kneetremblers on Myspace

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